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Dec 05, 2013 05:20 PM EST

Baylor QB Bryce Petty Will Stay Another Season And Improve NFL Readiness

Baylor junior QB Bryce Petty will return for his junior season, ESPN reported. NFL rookie QB success stories (a la Andrew Luck and Andrew Wilson) may be less of a factor in his decision than cases studies in rookie failure, according to ESPN analyst Trevor Matich.

Matich pointed out the darker side of giving first year signal callers the reigns during their first year of professional play: Struggle that initial season (especially as a later round pick as Petty would most likely have been this year) and coaches and general managers will start looking for your replacement (see: Geno Smith, a second rounder for the Jets). Petty's decision (and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota's) will give both hot prospects more time to prepare for their professional debuts, which will likely feature them in a starting role.

Petty was projected as the sixth best quarterback prospect during the beginning of the college season by draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. and now ranks as the third best quarterback for the 2015 draft, according to

"I will definitely be back next year," Petty told reporters earlier in the week.

Petty's having a phenomenal statistical year (3,500 yards, 28 TDs, 2 Ints) while leading his team to a 10-1 record and the No. 9 ranking in the BCS. He's also chipped in an absurd 11 rushing TDs on just 176 total yards.

Matich likes Petty's accuracy and release, but questions his ability to connect with receivers against tight coverage, such as during the Oklahoma State blowout (41-12) when he failed to deliver a number of clutch passes. Had Petty won that game and kept the Bears in the national championship discussion this far into the season, perhaps he'd be announcing his declaration today.

Baylor's final regular season game is this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST on FOX. If the Bears win and Oklahoma State loses, they'll be eligible for a BCS bowl.

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